8 Things Every Healthy Relationship Needs May 11, 2022

Relationships grow in a healthy manner only as they undergo experiences, and there is no shortcut to experiences. In other words, we only "know" each other to the extent that we have experience with each other. We can know facts about the person we are dating: their friends, job, hobbies, and so...

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How to Tell if Your Relationship is a Waste of Time May 11, 2022

Laura had been in a relationship with Jason for about four years. Her biggest complaint was that he took her for granted and did not make her a priority. He was a nice guy, but too self-centered to make a relationship work. Over and over again, he would leave her feeling ignored and unimportant....

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Your Helping Could Be Hurting Someone May 10, 2022

I have long been an advocate for the role of pain and suffering in growth. It's not a masochistic approach, for I truly hate "pain for pain's sake." And besides, not all pain produces growth. Some pain is just useless suffering and produces nothing helpful at all. I hate it when I see people...

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The Two Ways We Truly Find What Makes Us Happy May 06, 2022

There's so much research that tells us material things do not bring us happiness. When I look at all of the scientific research on happiness and thriving, and I looked at what all the studies have found in the last decade or more, it's amazing. There are ways of living that make you happy whether...

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9 Ways Words Kill a Relationship May 06, 2022

In a group I was leading once, a man held the floor for some time. He’d go off on tangents, change the subject and spend inordinate amounts of time on irrelevant details.

(I promise it wasn’t me this time.)

He couldn’t seem to get to the point. Other members were spacing out,...

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How We Find Safe Relationships with Others May 06, 2022

After 30 years in the profession of helping people, I have come to understand something: we cause much of our pain by the people we choose. In every kind of clinical issue that psychologists deal with, relationships are a big part of the picture in some way.

(Now, I'm not saying that victims of...

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Don’t Put Up With Mind Games in Relationships Apr 22, 2022

There is truth to the idea that we appreciate things that don’t come too easily, but at the same time, things have to be achievable. Good restaurants generally require a reservation’ you just cannot walk in. Why? Because they don’t allow it? No, that’s not why. Rather,...

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It's Not Your Job to Make Anyone Happy Apr 22, 2022

I was talking to a young man one day about his girlfriend. He was thinking about taking the next step in their relationship, and he had questions. Several times during the conversation, he said that something she did or something about the relationship did not “make him happy.” It was...

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Why You Can't Change Someone Apr 19, 2022

Are you in some type of relationship (it could be personal or work-related) where you are trying to get someone to be or do something different? But that person isn’t listening, or doesn’t desire to change, or doesn’t want what you want for him or her?

If so ... it’s time...

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Why It's Brave to Be Vulnerable Apr 14, 2022

It felt like I was at Wimbledon watching a tennis match, but instead of a tennis ball that was flying back and forth, it was blame. In tennis, players hit the ball back and forth over the net. In this counseling session with Jeremy and Rachel, one would blame the other, and before the shot ever...

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How to Teach Your Teen to Take Responsibility Apr 14, 2022

My daughters and I recall with laughter the game that we began years ago to combat blaming and excusing in our house. It did not begin with a case of “The dog hate my homework,” but with a dad (me) who was about ready to catch his hair on fire if he heard one more “But she...

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Your Anger Isn't a Sin Apr 14, 2022

In the last 30 years or so, we have seen a big swing in the way that Christians look at anger. Back then, it was almost all seen as sin. And, there are a lot of verses that tell us about the danger of anger, for it can be a very destructive emotion. As Proverbs 27:4 says, “Anger is cruel...

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